At this year’s LISTE Art Fair Basel, Kunsthalle Zürich will present RATZ FATZ ZAUBER WAS – Fairs and Fairy Tales, a project by Luca Beeler, Cedric Eisenring, and Carmen Tobler:
Children’s books are narratives that parents bring into their children’s rooms. In this intimate setting, accompanied by the voices of loved ones, these stories are passed on. And yet, they extend beyond the protected sphere of the home and enter the social realm. Children’s books carry with them a plethora of expectations and hopes: the romantic idea of the “childishly naive,” education and childrearing, and the discovery of children as a utopian matter. They offer an impressive demonstration of how much these narratives form the basis for the ideals and notions of childhood and society and our conception of the future.
The project RATZ FATZ ZAUBER WAS – Fairs and Fairy Tales presents a collection of children’s books from the post-war era, whose richness and delight in visual experimentation reached a peak in the 1970s. Extra copies removed from overfilled libraries, children’s books that fell out of the ecstatic focus and safekeeping of collectors and enthusiasts, or picture books from children’s rooms that gave way to the uninspired plans of empty nesters all bear the traces of countless children’s hands. Organic material soaked up by the fibers of the paper or excited scribblings on lavishly printed pictures attest to the past confrontation of these virulent stories with a generation that has long since grown up.
At LISTE Art Fair Basel a collection of over 200 children’s books will be exhibited in a group of sculptural beings, from which visitors can take them out to browse as they please. There will also be daily readings from the books with special guests at 3 p.m.